Zion National Park

Hiking Kolob Canyons

Kolob Canyons is a series of spectacular sandstone canyons located in the northwestern section of Zion National Park. The towering vertical cliffs, carved into the red Navajo sandstone, give the Kolob a striking singularity. The name "Kolob," from Mormon scripture, means "the star nearest the throne of God." Within the canyons, try the following routes.

Kolob Arch/La Verkin Creek - Strenuous 14-mile hike (699-ft. descent) that follows Timber and La Verkin Creeks and ends at Kolob Arch, the world's largest freestanding arch. Allow eight to ten hours. This trail follows Timber Creek past breathtaking views of the red cliffs and canyons above. Dropping almost 1,000 feet to La Verkin creek, it will lead you to one of the world's largest freestanding arches. Many hikers do this trip as an overnight hike to allow time to explore Hop Valley, Willis Creek, and Beartrap Canyon.

Timber Creek Overlook - One mile round-trip, allow one hour - Beginning at the picnic area at the end of the scenic drive, this trail offers splendid views of the Kolob Finger Canyons and the cliffs of Zion Canyon. From the top of the peak (6,369') you'll see fine views of the Pine Valley Mountains, Mt. Trumbell (overlooking the North Rim of the Grand Canyon), Timber Top Mountain, and Timber Creek.

Taylor Creek - 5.4 miles round-trip, allow three to four hours - This trail follows the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek. Several historic cabins, small pools and waterfalls, and Double Arch Alcove make this the Kolob's most popular day hike. The hike to Larson Cabin, 2.4 miles round-trip, makes a nice alternative for those with limited time.

Cross-Country - Most of the Kolob Canyons area is proposed wilderness in which there are no trails, roads, or evidence of human presence. If you are interested in hiking cross-country or off-trail, please inquire at the visitor center. Trips range from easy routes along stream beds to difficult scrambling, climbing, swimming, and rappelling down narrow canyons.

West Rim Area

Northgate Peaks - 1.2 miles. This foresty spur trail leaves the cross park route, climbing to an overlook of Northgate Peaks. Light use level. Seasons: summer/fall.

Wildcat Canyon - 5.8 miles. Panoramic views, forest, wildflowers. Light use level. Seasons: summer/fall.

West Rim - Strenuous 26.6-mile hike (3,593 ft. ascent) that climbs to a high-country viewpoint of canyon of Right Fork of North Creek and continues to Lava Point.

Angels Landing - Strenuous 5-mile hike (1,488 ft ascent) ending at a summit high above Zion Canyon.

Emerald Pools - Lower Emerald Pools is reached by an easy 1.2-mile hike that ends at Lower pool (wheelchair Accessible with assistance) and three waterfalls. Upper Emerald Pools is a moderate 2-mile loop trail to lower and middle pools.

Sand Bench - Moderately strenuous 3.6-mile hike (500-ft ascent) to good views of lower Zion Canyon and the Three Patriarchs. A good fall and spring hike.

East Rim Area

Weeping Rock - Easy 0.5-mile hike ending at Weeping Rock, a rock alcove decorated with wildflowers in the spring and summer.

Hidden Canyon - Moderately strenuous 2-mile hike (850-ft ascent) that leads through a narrow side canyon carved in joint of rocks. Not for anyone fearful of heights.

Cable Mountain - 2.9 miles. Historic cableworks, spectacular panoramas. Moderate use level. Best in spring and fall.

Deertrap Mountain - 3.2 miles. Spectacular views of Zion Canyon from Rim. Moderate use levels. Best in the summer and fall.

East Mesa Trail - 2.5 miles. Mixed open forest, panoramic views. Light use level. Best in the spring and fall.

East Rim - Strenuous 8-mile hike (2,148-ft ascent) that climbs to an observation point high above Zion Canyon.

Watchman Viewpoint Trail - Moderately strenuous 2-mile hike (368-ft ascent) that ends at viewpoint of lower Zion Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, and the town of Springdale.

Southwest Desert Area

Chinle Trail - 8.1 miles. Panoramic desert views. Light to moderate use level. Best seasons are spring, fall, and winter.

Huber Wash - Desert and canyons. Light to moderate use level. Best times are spring, fall, and winter. The going can get tough after a wash out.

Coalpits Wash - Desert and canyons. Light to moderate use level. Best in spring, fall, and winter.

In Zion Canyon

See the Zion Canyon Detail Map.

Pa'rus Trail - The Pa'rus Trail offers a paved, car-free alternative for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with strollers or wheelchairs to visit lower Zion Canyon. This 2-mile trail follows the Virgin River from the Watchman Campground entrance to the intersection with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, crossing Oak Creek, the Virgin River, and Pine Creek. Broad views of the cliffs of lower Zion Canyon.

Gateway to the Narrows - Easy 2-mile hike following the Virgin River upstream to the Zion Canyon Narrows. Starts near Temple of Sinawava and takes you to the brink of the Narrows.

Zion Narrows

Where the Virgin River enters Zion National Park, its waters have carved a chasm 2,000 feet deep into the Markagunt Plateau. The river meanders 16 miles through a water-sculpted gorge of sandstone arches, grottos, and soaring fluted walls. The route is the river; there is no maintained trail. This is a hike for those who want serious exploration and off-trail travel. It's not for the timid. More on the Zion Narrows!

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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